25 to Watch 2018: Annie Arnoult
Annie Arnoult and her Open Dance Project invited audiences inside Woody Guthrie’s world in ‘Bout a Stranger, evoking the Dust Bowl era through movement, song, theater and set design for a visceral experience of the great American songwriter’s life. Arnoult’s opus unfolded through vignettes occurring in makeshift kitchens, corridors and tiny stages that enveloped the viewer.
Her keen attention to detail, the timeliness of the subject (considering today’s political climate of social action) and the superb performances by her dancers astonished on every level, making ‘Bout a Stranger one of the most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades.
The Houston native returned to her home turf three years ago to start Hunter Dance Center, a full-service studio, and Open Dance Project, the company that is now upping everyone’s game in Houston. “We are an ensemble of makers,” says Arnoult about her talented troupe, who double as actors, co-creators and set movers when necessary.
Arnoult continues to perform solo work with sound and visual artists. Her next big project, a restaging of her piece Dada Gert, will be presented by Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts and chronicles the life of dancer/performer and innovator Valeska Gert in Weimar Germany. And, like ‘Bout a Stranger, it will be a completely immersive experience.